Meet RuoHan (Kitty) Li ’21 and Xinyuan (Ella) Li ’24

Ella Li seated at her desk working on her computerBetween visa issues, parent concerns, and travel challenges, COVID-19 has presented many obstacles for MPA’s international students. In fact, two students from China, 12th grader RuoHan (Kitty) Li and 9th grader Xinyuan (Ella) Li (no relation) have had to stay at home this semester and attend virtually from thousands of miles away. In a testament to their commitment to remaining a part of the community, Kitty and Ella have rearranged their schedules to accommodate the time differences. Hear how they are making this tremendous sacrifice in order to continue their educations at MPA.

What does your daily schedule look like? What time are MPA’s classes for you? Has your sleep and meal schedule changed?

Kitty: Right now, my daily schedule is class from 9:00pm to 2:30am since I do not have 6th block this quarter. However, next quarter, I will have class from 9:00pm to 4:00am since I have Physics. I have been sleeping from 3am to 12pm recently. My meal schedule has not changed too much, but I have reduced it from three meals to two meals since I have not been eating a lot for breakfast. Read More


Meet the Short Herring Family

Harper and Carter Short in the science room体育比分网Dr. Courtney Herring, pediatrician and member of MPA’s COVID-19 Community Advisory Group, and her children, Carter (grade 6) and Harper (grade 5) share how their experience is going so far this fall at MPA.

How is MPA making sure you’re safe at school?

Harper:体育比分网 MPA has been and always will be my favorite school. They have spent a lot of time on making sure everyone is six feet apart, wearing a mask, and sanitizing their hands. MPA has kept me educated and safe.

How is MPA incorporating the important tasks of building community and maintaining joy while still ensuring the safety of all constituents?

Dr. Herring: The task of re-opening any school during a population health crisis is daunting. The administration and staff at MPA worked tirelessly to build-in safety provisions with logistical planning required to allow our children to return to the classroom. Whereas safety is first, social development and academic delivery should not be demoted to second-level importance. MPA understood these principles and picked up the gauntlet in a way that makes all of us should proud to be part of our “Dream Big. Do Right.” family. By not losing focus, our students have been re-engaged and families supported while relationships continue to be built through in-person and virtual platforms.

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Meet Alumni and Current Parents Victoria Simmonds ’01 and Sam Brown ’94! 

Alumna Victoria Simmonds with her 2 ChildrenOne of the greatest things about MPA approaching its 40th birthday is the number of alumni choosing MPA for their own children. Nate Bander ’09 spoke with two alums, who each brought their families to MPA in the fall of 2020, on why they chose to come home. Meet Victoria Simmonds ’01, and Sam Brown ’94!

What are you currently doing, professionally and/or personally and how did you get there? Are there some career moves or other key experiences or relationships that have inspired you?

Victoria Simmonds ’01: I was immersed in the world of real estate as a child. My mother was a residential broker, and my father was a commercial developer. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a liberal arts degree, I knew pretty quickly that my future career would involve real estate in some form. Fast forward to now and I am an agent with Edina Realty. I am thankful, every day, to have found a career that I love, and I’m honored by each client who trusts me to help them navigate one of the most important transactions of their lives. The relationships that develop along the way are icing on the cake. Read More


Finding A Home: The Roseth Family’s Journey To MPA

Ava, Andrew, Ari, and Annika Roseth in front of the ocean体育比分网How did your family discover MPA? Maybe you saw a billboard or heard an ad on Minnesota Public Radio. Perhaps you read an article about an MPA athletic team, or searched on Google. But for almost 80% of families, finding MPA meant connecting with someone already within our community like a friend, a neighbor, a colleague, or a family member.

体育比分网for the roseth family—parents aaron and anna, sixth grader ari, fifth grader andrew, and third grader annika—who started in the fall of 2020, discovering mpa began with a bumper sticker on a teammate’s minivan at football practice. that teammate was dylan rengstorf, whose sister emma, attended mpa. ari and dylan became fast friends and so did their families.

Shortly before meeting the Roseth family, Jason and Joana Rengstorf had chosen MPA after looking for a school where Emma could thrive in an inclusive place that provided a safe environment for her to excel as a student. When they found MPA, they knew it was the right fit. Read More


Meet Alex Appleton ’23

Alex works with LS studentHow many years have you been a student at MPA?
I came to MPA in the fall of 2019 as a ninth grader.

What do you love about MPA?
I love the diversity and the classes. The teachers are so kind and supportive and truly want you to grow toward your goals and will help guide you there. I love the community and that as a tenth grader, I have the chance to be with Lower School kids or work with Middle Schoolers as they make their way toward the Upper School.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
My math teachers encouraged me to pursue my goal of jumping ahead into accelerated math. And this past summer, I finally achieved that. What started as a big dream developed into a possible goal that is now a reality. This would not have been possible if it weren’t for the support of the teachers at MPA who encouraged me to reach this goal. Not only do I now feel more confident to reach my own goals, but I am encouraged to do right by helping others reach their goals as well. Read More


Meet the Cowen Family

Cowen FamilyWhat did your journey look like from Chicago to MPA?
体育比分网 We moved to Minnesota from Chicago in 2019 for an exciting career opportunity and to explore a new state, having raised our family in the city for 12 years and then moving to the suburbs.

As a new family to the area, what made you choose MPA over the abundance of other educational options in the Twin Cities?
体育比分网 MPA spoke to us and to our children instantly. Having attended both private/independent and public schools previously; we appreciate the combination of academic rigor and whole child approach. Our children are well rounded with many interests and we wanted to continue to instill in them a joy of learning, an appreciation for the arts, and varied sports and recreational options while also challenging them academically. MPA was immediately our first choice (among many outstanding options) and we could not be more pleased with how much our children love it!

What would you tell another family relocating to the Twin Cities?
Do your homework, know what you want nearby and how you plan to live—and then call us! The Twin Cities are varied and there are many wonderful areas to live in. It took time and patience and we even had to commute for work for nearly a year, but in the end it worked out—especially finding MPA and seeing how much joy the school and community has brought to our family.
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Meet MPA Parent Chrissy Snider

The Snider FamilyWhat do you love about MPA?
I love the encouragement to try new things, the support through hard times, and a community that truly cares for each other and the world.

What initially attracted you to MPA?
Our oldest son Henry was struggling and his old school had given up on him. He needed a fresh start, a small setting and a place that embraced the whole child. Our children are no longer struggling. After being at MPA, they are thriving, and that’s especially true for Henry, who graduated from MPA this past spring. He entered MPA with no confidence in himself academically, socially or athletically, and look at him now! A state champion, confidently heading to the college of his dreams with a close knit group of friends that support and cheer for each other.

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
All four of my children who have attended MPA and very different with unique gifts. Each of them feel encouraged to be their own individual selves and celebrated for their talents. They are challenged at school, but because of MPA, they have the confidence to put in the effort to persevere through the challenging coursework and ask for help when it is needed. For example, Henry’s Track and Field coach Bev Docherty had a lot to do with his success. Henry had a hard time running the 400m and 800m. Read More


Meet Spanish Teacher Mariajose Johnson

Mareajose virtual learningHow many years have you been at MPA?
The 2020-2021 school year is my third year at MPA.

What do you love about MPA?
I love the environment of student focused, high energy teachers all over the building! I love the fact that students have the opportunity to learn a second language starting in Kindergarten, as well as having physical education, arts, music, technology, library, drama and the Makerspace! I love being a teacher at MPA and bringing the love of teaching/love of students kind of energy every day. It is energizing and motivating!

How does MPA inspire students who dream big and do right?
I believe that MPA inspires students who dream big and do right by promoting flexibility and creativity in the curriculum, and really encouraging extracurricular activities with the no-cut policy. Read More


Meet Alumni Board Member Kethan Dahlberg ’14

Kethan Dahlberg '14During his time at MPA, Kethan Dahlberg found his home-away-from-home. From early morning jazz band rehearsals and Nordic ski practices to late night track meets and study sessions for group projects, MPA taught him the importance of teamwork, perseverance, grit, and, importantly, the value and benefit of being an active and engaged member of the community. “Now, reflecting as an alumnus, and especially given the past few months of lock-down orders and quarantines, I feel it’s important for me to become further involved with my fellow alumni and the school to make sure the same strong sense of family and opportunities that I had during my time on campus remain in place for current students,” he said.

After MPA, he attended Harvard and graduated in 2018 with a concentration in government, secondary in music and citation in Spanish. He also pursued a variety of internship opportunities in various levels and branches of government. While he ultimately hopes to end up back in public service someday, he applied for his job with a private law firm before law school to see the other side of the coin and gain some insight into how businesses operate from a legal perspective. Read More


Meet Alumni Board Member Amanda Magistad ’12

Amanda Magistad '12Class of 2012 alum and 13-Year Club member Amanda Magistad joins the Alumni Association Board this year to serve, participate in, and grow with the MPA Alumni community. “I can confidently say that I would not be where I am today without the education and support I received from MPA. The opportunity to be a member of this board, and to hopefully ensure positive experiences for current and future students is a privilege,” she said.

Amanda has continued to stay connected with MPA after graduating. Her sister currently attends MPA, and Amanda loves attending Homecoming and staying up to date with current events through email newsletters and social media. “I continue to support MPA’s mission in everyday life by, ‘Dreaming Big and Doing Right.’ In both my personal and professional life I stand up for what is right, what I believe in and treat everyone with kindness. I am innovative, I am not afraid to speak up and I push myself to thrive and improve every day.” Read More